Another May, another Ubuntu Developers Summit. This time I am in Oakland, California, USA (even if my tweets shows Dallas, Texas as geolocation).

As usual with US trips this one took insane amount of time. But I was 3cm from not going here… Why? Because I got stuck in toilet at home. Hopefully with help from neighbour I was able to bash door out and get to the bus stop on time.

Then standard set of bus, plane, plane, train and finally arrived in hotel. As my room was not yet ready I got 30$ coupon to bar to not waste time on waiting. Free meal/beer 😉

My room is at 17th floor (which means 15th) and has a nice view in the evening:

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On Sunday I went to see San Francisco centre (I saw Golden Gate on earlier visit). Chinatown was interesting experience. Lot of people speaking language which I do not understand, shops full of food which I do not recognize.

Some random photos:

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After getting some souvenirs and refilling of my US T-Mobile sim card I decided to go to the cinema for ‘The Avengers’ movie. It was nice experience. Touchscreen operated ticket machines which allow to buy ticket in one minute (but people were standing in long queue to buy tickets in ‘normal way’) made it even better. As in Poland there was big amount of commercials before movie (including some in style “our Army/Navy is great, why not join us”) but what I liked was just-before-movie animation reminding about not talking/texting/tweeting during movie (made with characters from “Madagaskar” series). Have to admit that RealD 3D glasses were more comfortable than Dolby 3D ones used by Polish cinemas. Movie itself was great but I think that will have to see it in Poland due to my English ;D

During evening there was usual Canonical internal plenary and then dinner. I even managed to sleep 6 hours despite jet lag ;D

Monday started with interesting keynote and presentation of Calxeda ARM server using technology they were talking about at previous UDS. Photos:

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It is 2U case with 24 Serial-ATA discs and 12 nodes with 4 quad-core EnergyCore processors per node. The only cables inside are power ones as rest of connections is on pcb. Connection with world by four Ethernet connectors.

I went to “Create filesystems for embedded devices” session where we discussed how to make Ubuntu Core even smaller. People mentioned OpenEmbedded, OpenWRT, buildroot as usual, we got some strange use cases too. What will come from it? Time will show.

Plenaries were interesting. First Chris Kenyon told about cooperation with OEMs and ODMs and how it relates with Ubuntu. Laptop in a pizza box picture was nice — reminded developer boards. Then Bdale Garbee from HP shown us that there is no way to go though life without being served by HP technologies or hardware. Both talks were great and I hope that rest of plenaries will be like that.

After plenaries I went to San Francisco to register at Tizen conference and to meet some friends from Maemo times. Technical showcase and partner demos were boring and it was hard to feel that it is something innovative. But who knows… maybe Tizen will be yet another phone/tablet/ivi/etc OS even when Moblin, Maemo, MeeGo did not succeed.

During evening (back at UDS) there was ‘Meet & greet” social event. Our Linaro group (Amber, Ricardo, Paul, me) was showing member boards and replying to misc questions from audience.

What next? Sessions, social events, discussions about my patches with other developers, some sight-seeing.

Events in 2012 which I will attend

In March I wrote where I will travel. Decided to write such memo at start of year so it will be more visible what my plans are for 2012.

In February I will miss FOSDEM because Linaro Connect Q1.12 will start right after it. So at 4th I will fly to San Francisco for a week. But this time instead of flying back home I decided to spend weekend in New York City where I hope to meet some people from Bug Labs company. You know: we worked with each other for 1.5 year and I met only Peter Semmelhack and Ken Gilmer. Also I plan some sightseeing.

Then a bit of quiet until next Linaro Connect will happen. Probably May but it was not yet decided where and when. As many people I also hope for Asia (never was in this part of world).

Same month there will be Ubuntu Developer Summit somewhere at west coast of USA. Who knows — maybe it will end in trip around the world in May? Sounds interesting but I think that only sounds as it can be hard to survive due to jet lag.

Then July/August another Linaro Connect. No idea where, but hope for Europe. In meantime I may or may not attend Ubuntu Rally (Canonical internal event) which will be somewhere in US (as it follows UDS place).

And end of year will bring yet another Linaro Connect and Ubuntu Developer Summit. Second one in Europe.

What else? Probably LinuxTag if company events will not be at same time, maybe something local (there are few conferences planned in Szczecin).

Overall it looks that there will be some travelling — but this year I plan to make more use of free time to see something else than conference centers.

I got interviewed during Linaro Connect

Half year ago at UDS-O in Budapest Michael Opdenacker interviewed some people from Linaro. I remember that at the end of event Kiko asked him did he talked with me cause he thought that it could be interesting for someone.

Then we had another Linaro Connect (in Cambourne) and nothing happened. But in previous week I got an email that there will be interview with me in Orlando and that I should choose time slot for it. So I did and here is the result:


What we were talking about? Check it yourself. And please comment did you enjoyed.

Calxeda announced ARM server product

It is not often when I am writing about just announced things but today Calxeda company has announced their EnergyCore cpu modules.

Imagine processor which takes 5W energy, has 4 ARM cores, 4MB of L2 cache, 4 Serial-ATA connectors (lot of 4s ;D) and 5 10Gb links for connecting with other cpus. Then put four (again 🙂 such chips on card. Then take 4U rack case and put 4 trays of cpu modules (72 cpus) and you have insane amount of nodes in small space. And all of that will take really small amount of power (5W per cpu, no network switches, no cables).

HP Redstone server

In HP announcement they wrote that first servers will be available in 1H of 2012 — no pricing anyway. Presentation shown that half of rack of HP Redstone servers will take 9.1kW of energy and can replace 10 racks of x86 machines (eating 91kW). Of course that’s for situations when there is no need for more then 4GB of ram per node (which is limit of ARM cores used by Calxeda).

I wonder when one of such beasts will land in Canonical build farm. It would make Ubuntu port of ARM flying when it comes to building software.

Trips in 2011

There is one good thing in 2011 year — I know when I will have to travel for company meetings and which conferences I will have to forget due to this…

So in May I will attend Ubuntu Developer Summit which is a place where we discuss what we want to have done in next release. Event is also known as Linaro@UDS-O cause Linaro people will be there for same reason. Location: Budapest, Hungary. Time: 9-13 May 2011.

Then there will be Ubuntu Platform Sprint which I may be attending but this was not yet decided. This event is Canonical internal and this time will be without Linaro people (which were present on two previous ones). Location: Dublin, Ireland. Time: 27th June – 1st July 2011.

As Linaro has grown we got own sprint — Linaro Platform Sprint where we will work for a week in one place instead of being spread all over the world. Location: near Cambridge, UK. Time: 1-5 August 2011.

And finally another Ubuntu Developer Summit will take place (again) in Orlando, Florida. This will be more interesting UDS because 12.04 will be LTS so more discussions about long term things will probably take place. Location: Orlando, Florida. Time: 24-28 October 2011.

So this year no LinuxTag for me (UDS-O time), no ELC-E (UDS-P). I was thinking about attending Desktop Summit in Berlin but I lost faith in both GNOME and KDE so looks like there is no sense in going there. Will have a look to be somewhere and meet some people from outside of Ubuntu and Linaro worlds.

UDS-N is ending

Last day of UDS-N is today. I am tired and decided to skip last sessions slot and summary. It was good event and for me it was far better then previous one. Even with jetlag…

I attended lot of sessions. Mostly toolchain related ones but some just for fun (like “git for bzr users”) or to add something from me. My session was on Wednesday — a bit too late for people in Europe but even without Wookey it was success. We defined what is do be done for next months and I have all I need to write specification + work items.

But there are few things which I want to note before I forgot (mostly related to organization):

  • IRC screens on sessions should have local timezone instead of random one
  • all sessions (except private meetings) should have blueprints attached so there will be a possibility to subscribe for them
  • would be nice if blueprint page would have information when and where it will be discussed
  • when session is moved then subscribers should get notification
  • sessions with essential participation should be marked as such on schedule view (and in iCal) — saves time when you have all slots occupied (sometimes even with few sessions at same time)

Some people will say that I am complaining but week before UDS I had huge amount of sessions subscribed (some as essential) and did few cleaning attempts before and during event to be present at as many as possible.

But summit is not only sessions — it is also people. I met some Polish people from ARM, Canonical, Ubuntu, had occasion to speak with new people from Linaro’s toolchain working group or from Linaro or Ubuntu. It was good time. And next time I will take small photo camera because at the end of day my cellphone was discharged so not so many photos taken 🙁

And I learnt few new things 😀 How to switch devices connected to hotel wifi by cloning MAC address in laptop or phone, that my x86-64 laptop works quite good as access point (but next time I will rather use WPA instead of open network) and that Skype from time to time decides that microphone which worked does not work anymore. SkypeOut is great thing btw — was the only connection between me and my family.

So this evening we have a party, tomorrow I have to do something with time and then “24h” trip home (about 18h in real but 6 timezones add some + DST change night). I hope that next week will be jetlag free ;D

I got Efika MX Smartbook from Genesi

Yesterday Konstantinos Margaritis from Genesi USA was giving out about 40 Efika MX Smartbooks and few Efika MX Smarttops. I had that luck to became owner of one of those Smartbooks.

That’s nice device. Powered by 800MHz Freescale i.MX515 cpu with 512MB ram has enough juice to be used as web/email netbook. After charging I got nice message from kernel’s power supply subsystem: 427 minutes of battery life — nice value for just 3-cell battery (6-cell is an option according to box informations and website). What else inside:

  • 10.1″ TFT-LCD, 16:9 with LED backlight, 1024 x 600 resolution
  • 3D Graphics Processing Unit
  • Multi-format HD video decoder and D1 video encoder
  • 16GB Nand Flash
  • External MMC / SD card slot (up to SD v2.0 and MMC v4.2)
  • Internal MicroSD slot
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (with on/off switch) – Ralink chipset
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Phone jack for headset (audio in / out)
  • Built-in 1.3MP video camera
  • Built-in microphone
  • Built-in stereo speaker

That “16GB Nand Flash” in reality is 15GB Flash-on-module connected to PATA controller. According to “hdparm” tests it makes 22-24MB/s which is quite for this type of devices. My class 10 SD card managed to get 14MB/s (compare it with 5.3MB/s in BeagleBoard) so storage options are nice. Ah… there is also MicroSD slot behind the battery but I did not tested how fast it is.

Note one thing: by default Smartbook boots from internal PATA drive but if there is SD card in slot then it is used for booting. This allows to test development kernels without need of getting to U-Boot. I got hit once by that because card which I used to transfer some data had OMAP3 kernels on it… As you can imagine it did not booted properly…

After I think hour or two I got it upgraded from Ubuntu 10.10 “maverick” to “natty” and got hit by some modifications done by Genesi. After copying “/boot/” from other Efika MX I got it working again. Next days will bring me working KDE 4.5.2 desktop (will have to rebuild some packages for it).

My plans for it? Mobile ARM test platform + laptop replacement for events where I do not need more then email + web + IM.

UDS-N: Monday

Again early wake up… This time 4:44 but I think that today will be better then yesterday because 6h of sleep is often my default amount. Few minutes ago room mate woke up and said: you will never convert to this timezone if you will not sleep longer. But why do I have to? In few days I will be back home.

After “let’s do nothing” Sunday it is time to start doing UDS things. I have quite long list of sessions to attend and for few I will need to select which one to go:


  • 11:00 Linaro@UDS roundtable
  • 12:00 Xdeb cross-compilation environment
  • 15:00 Current state of Linaro toolchain
  • 16:15 Package development tools
  • 17:10 Future Linaro toolchain areas


  • 09:00 Toolchain consumption models
  • 11:00 Design a safe and stable build cluster for public ARM PPAs based on the OMAP4 Pandaboard
  • 11:00 Using QEMU for demonstrations
  • 12:00 Integrate gdbserver support in Linaro
  • 15:00 Kexec
  • 16:15 Improve detection of device class at install time
  • 16:15 Current and future GDB for ARM plans


  • 09:00 Create minimal preinstalled developer images
  • 11:00 The Multi-Monitor User Experience multimedia
  • 12:00 State of ARM developer tools
  • 12:00 Kubuntu Natty and X.org
  • 15:00 Provide ARM cross-compiler packages for Ubuntu Natty
  • 16:15 Linaro toolchain integration in Ubuntu Natty
  • 17:00 Cross-Compilation Environment


  • 10:00 Git for Bzr users
  • 11:00 Kernel version and flavours
  • 11:00 Performance inside of GCC
  • 12:00 ARM specific library tuning
  • 15:00 Produce an image suitable for set-top boxes for armel


  • 09:00 Provide a Linaro image with a set of developer-oriented tools installed by default
  • 10:00 More stable VM solution for running armel VMs
  • 11:00 Multiarch Support for gcc, binutils, dpkg, and apt
  • 12:00 Discuss the way forward with the 2D ARM netbook UI
  • 15:00 Provide solutions for netbooting and minimally installed Thin Clients on ARM boards

For now this is a list of sessions which I will attend or consider to. Some of them are required for me, some I will lead, some are for curiosity and few I will attend to check what is going on and maybe provide some hints. Compared to UDS-M this one will be rather busy for me. And I have to catch Jamie to grab my PandaBoard from him 🙂

BTW — if you are interested in checking something on PandaBoard then catch me. Maybe it will be possible to organize some kind of hacking session (but note that I do not have any of required things for board — no psu, no cables/keyboard/mouse/etc).